Chapter 16 – A letter from Ingrid
The boys spend the night in the cells. They don’t sleep and they don’t talk. They are worried. Fabio remembers various films he has seen about English and American prisons. Maurizio remembers that Gramsci wrote books in prison and tries not to despair. However, the next morning at six a.m., they are free. The police investigated Gon: he has a record for drug dealing. The policeman explains to the boys.
“Be more careful when you make friends, lads. There are a lot of dodgy characters about.”
The boys catch a train to London and go back to Kent Hall Hostel. They have little money left. They decide to get a job with McDonald’s for a week to buy a flight ticket back to Rome. They check in at the hostel and, surprise, there is a letter for Fabio. Fabio reads the letter. Everything changes.
17, Shamus Drive
How are you?
We are enjoying Dublin and my English is much better (though I still can’t understand the Irish accent.)
Dublin is really exciting and, guess (=indovina) what? We’ve got a flat!
Well, it’s my birthday next week and I am having a party.
You have never been to Ireland so why don’t you come over with Maurizio?
Lots of love
The boys have been in England for six months and they are both a little homesick (=sentono entrambi nostalgia di casa). They are proud that they are living by themselves in a new country, but they are tired. Their arrest and their night in the cells in Glastonbury have shocked the boys and they are not so sure of themselves. They want to go home and let their parents worry about the future. They are full of new experiences and they want to tell their friends all the things they have done in Britain.
After he reads the letter Fabio suggests that they go to Ireland.
“You want to see Ingrid,” laughs Maurizio.
“It is nothing to do with Ingrid. I want to see Dublin. Ingrid is just a friend,” explains Fabio.
“That’s lucky,” says Maurizio. “She’s probably got some Irish bloke (=tipo) by now.”
Fabio says nothing. He turns red.
Maurizio agrees to travel to Ireland, but there is a problem. The fare (=costo del viaggio) from London to Dublin is too expensive.
“We can’t pay that,” says Maurizio. ”It costs more than the fare to Rome.”
They are standing in the enquiry office at Euston station.
“Can we hitch hike?” asks Fabio miserably.
“Not unless you can hitch hike across the Irish Sea, sir,” says the clerk. “There is a four hour boat ride (= viaggio di 4 ore in barca) from Holyhead to Dublin.”
“We’ve only got £350,” says Maurizio, “And we must get back to Rome.”
Fabio is looking at a map of the British Isles.
“Do you know how much the boat is from Stranraer to Larne?”
“Just a minute, sir.” The clerk looks in a book. “£12.”
“Let’s hitch hike up to Stranraer, get the ferry across and hitch hike down to Dublin.”
Maurizio is unconvinced, but Fabio is passionate. He holds Ingrid’s letter.
“But we decided not to hitch hike any more”
“I know, but I want to see Dublin.”
“You want to see Ingrid,” complains Maurizio.” and you want to risk our lives to see Ingrid.” Fabio looks so sad that Maurizio goes to an Internet cafe and surfs the web. He comes back to the hostel with a plan.
“We can hitch hike to Stranraer, get the ferry to Northern Ireland and get the train to Dublin. There is a Ryanair flight from Dublin to Rimini on the 15th. It costs only £300 and we can see Ingrid.”
That night the boys begin the 400 mile journey to Stranraer. It takes nearly two days. Fabio has seen a film about an Irish terrorist. Fabio is very impressed by Brad Pitt starring in it. So he buys himself a khaki jacket, and he doesn’t shave for days to grow a beard and look like him.
They arrive in Stranraer at 6 o’clock in the morning and cross over to Larne in Northern Ireland. The journey only takes two hours and costs £10 each.